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Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water add the zucchini and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Drrain and set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and onions until tender. Drain the fat from the beef and then add the next 9 ingredients. Simmer for about 10 minutes, checking for any additional seasonings that are needed.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, egg, and parsley.

Prepare a 9 by 13-inch baking dish by lightly coating the bottom with meat sauce. Layer your lasagna in this order: zucchini, meat sauce, zucchini, a light layer of mozzarella cheese, and zucchini. Add the meat sauce to cover the layered zucchini.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let the lasagna rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Zucchini Lasagna

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This Zucchini Lasagna is low fat, gluten-free, Keto friendly, ridiculously delicious and only 368 calories! This lasagna uses zucchini in place of pasta thereby reducing calories. Guilt free!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar pasta sauce (such as Kroger® Simple Truth Organic™ 4 Cheese)
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • cooking spray
  • 1 (16 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 4 medium zucchini, peeled
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef and Italian sausage in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onion and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add pasta sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and basil together in a small bowl.

Cut zucchini lengthwise into thin strips (1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick) with a thin, sharp knife. Place a layer of tightly arranged zucchini slices in the prepared baking pan and spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on top. Top with a small amount of the meat sauce followed by 1 to 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese. Be sure not to overapply the sauce so you'll have enough for the very top of the dish.

Continue layering the lasagna with zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, meat sauce, and mozzarella. Finish with a top layer of zucchini, the remaining meat sauce, and the remaining mozzarella.

Bake, uncovered, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain any excess liquid from the edges of the baking pan with a baster or ladle during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Cut portions with a sharp knife first and then carefully remove with a large spatula to serve.


WHAT MAKES THIS THE BEST ZUCCHINI LASAGNA RECIPE?

If you have made zucchini lasagna in the past and your noodles were soggy or your lasagna was watery or your ricotta was grainy or your sauce was bland – I can guarantee you right now you will NOT have those problems with this zucchini lasagna recipe!

I have used the tips and tricks from my classic lasagna recipe with hundreds of rave reviews to create the best sauce and most creamy ricotta filling, and then experimented to create the best textured zucchini noodles and most importantly, a casserole that was saucy but not watery. Here is my conclusion of what makes this the best zucchini lasagna recipe:

  • No watery zucchini lasagna! You can’t just salt the zucchini noodles and expect your lasagna to not be watery. Instead, the zucchini must be sliced 1/8-inch thick instead of 1/4-inch thick, salted and broiled to dehydrate the zucchini. The final trick is to leave the Bolognese on the thick side, another perk of homemade Bolognese. The sauce absorbs the water from the zucchini and we end up with the perfect saucy consistency.
  • Bolognese Sauce. You NEED a quality, flavorful meat sauce in order to have the best zucchini lasagna recipe. And of course, the best meat sauce is a homemade Bolognese with onions, carrots and celery. It’s rich, immensely flavorful and SO worth the extra 10 minutes to make homemade sauce. Plus, it just simmers on the back burner in the same amount of time it takes to prepare the zucchini noodles and ricotta filling.
  • Depth of Flavor. We use plenty of seasoning in our Bolognese Sauce and also season the ricotta filling with Parmesan, nutmeg and basil. Every element should be seasoned and flavorful.
  • No Grainy Ricotta! Instead of using all of ricotta, we combine ricotta with sour cream for the creamiest ricotta you ever did taste.
  • Ratio of Meat Sauce to Filling to Noodles. This zucchini lasagna recipe boasts three layers of zucchini noodles as opposed to just two (that most recipes call for) so we get layer upon layer upon layer of YUM!


Keto Zucchini Lasagna

A low carb version of classic comfort food, this keto zucchini lasagna is an easy low carb dinner you can make up for the whole family to enjoy. Rich flavors of pasta sauce, beef and three types of cheese fill the layers of zucchini lasagna noodles. This healthy, hearty casserole is a crowd pleaser and good option to for a weeknight keto dinner.

There are many zucchini noodle lasagna recipes out there because many of them turn out to be so watery, it is unappetizing. However, I have some tricks counteract this so your keto zucchini lasagna turns out fabulous!

Tips to Make Zucchini Lasagna Less Watery

The main complaint people have with lasagna made from zucchini is that the casserole can be watery. I have a few tips to help with that. Zucchini is actually made up of a lot of water. When it is cooked, much of that moisture can be release in the keto lasagna casserole.

  1. Slice the zucchini into thin strips. The thick the strips, the more zucchini you have, the more moisture you have.
  2. Sprinkle salt on your zucchini noodles and let sit for 15 minutes. The salt will pull out the moisture. Then blot with paper towels to soak up excess moisture.

Other Keto Lasagna Noodle Options

If you decide that you don’t want to use zucchini or maybe you stumbled upon this recipe and decide that you don’t want to use zucchini, you can use these other keto lasagna noodle options.

  • Protein Noodle – Use sheets of deli slice chicken or turkey to make a classic no noodle lasagna. – A few companies are making lasagna noodles out of hearts of palm. They are my favorite to use in a skillet lasagna recipe.
  • Cabbage – Sheets of cabbage work fine for making a low carb zucchini. Some people don’t like the taste however.

Three Cheese Lasagna

This keto zucchini lasagna uses three cheeses – fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese. Feel free to mix up the cheeses if you would like. You can use shredded mozzarella cheese if desired. Try using cottage cheese or cream cheese. Maybe even add some provolone or smoked gouda.

How to Store Lasagna

Store your baked lasagna in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze it too!


Recipe Summary

  • 3 large zucchini (about 1 1⁄4 lb.)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (from 1 [9-oz.] box)
  • 4 cups marinara sauce (from 1 [42-oz.] jar)
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 1⁄2 oz.)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed torn basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. Using a mandoline, shave zucchini lengthwise into very thin strips. Place about one-third of the strips in a single layer on paper towels sprinkle evenly with about one-third of the salt. Top with another layer of paper towels repeat process twice. Let stand 10 minutes gently press strips with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Rub inside of a 13- x 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with olive oil rub entire inside surface with cut sides of garlic.

Place 3 lasagna noodles in bottom of prepared dish. (They will not cover entire surface but will expand when cooked.) Top with 1 cup marinara sauce, spreading evenly to cover noodles. Top evenly with 1⁄4 cup ricotta, 1⁄4 cup Parmesan, and 2 ounces mozzarella. Cover with about one-fourth of the zucchini strips sprinkle with about 4 teaspoons basil and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Repeat layers twice. Layer with remaining 3 noodles, 1 cup marinara sauce, and 1⁄4 cup ricotta. Top with 1⁄4 cup Parmesan and remaining 2 ounces mozzarella. Arrange remaining zucchini strips on top in a lattice design. Sprinkle with remaining 1⁄4 cup Parmesan and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.

Cover with foil bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Remove foil bake until top is lightly browned and noodles are tender, about 20 minutes more. Let stand at least 15 minutes before slicing.


Gallery

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 small [6 oz.] onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 3 garlic cloves)
  • 1 (28-oz.) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • 4 large (2 lb. total) zucchini
  • 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. pre-shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups), divided

Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Add sausage, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper cook, using a wooden spoon to break up sausage, 3 minutes. Stir in onion and garlic cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Uncover and stir in basil. Continue simmering, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to broil with rack positioned 6 inches from heat source. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices using a mandoline (about 40 slices total). Arrange zucchini evenly in a single layer on 3 rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt let stand 5 minutes. Blot zucchini with paper towels.

Broil zucchini in batches, if needed, in preheated oven for 2 minutes per batch. Remove from oven reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Stir together ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread one third (about 1 cup) of the sausage sauce in bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Layer one fourth of the zucchini over sauce to cover bottom of dish. Spread one third (about 2/3 cup) of the ricotta mixture over zucchini sprinkle with one fourth (about 1 cup) of the mozzarella. Top with one fourth of the zucchini layer with one third of the sausage sauce, one third of the ricotta mixture, and one fourth of the mozzarella. Repeat layers once. Layer top with remaining zucchini.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove foil bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella bake until bubbling and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 1/2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Two 14.5-ounce cans whole plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced thyme
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely grated provolone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 375°. Set 2 wire racks over 2 rimmed baking sheets. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on the racks, brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously with salt and black pepper. Roast the zucchini for about 40 minutes, until just tender and lightly browned at the edges.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then add the chopped tomatoes and crushed red pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and the 1 cup of Parmesan with the egg, basil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Lightly oil a 2-quart oval baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce in the dish and arrange a single layer of zucchini slices on top. Spread 1 cup of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini, then sprinkle with about one-third each of the provolone and mozzarella. Spoon 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the cheeses. Arrange another layer of zucchini over the tomato sauce, spread the remaining ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with another one-third of the provolone and mozzarella. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce on top. Arrange the remaining zucchini slices over the sauce, then top with the remaining provolone and mozzarella.

Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake the zucchini lasagna for 30 to 35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown. Let stand for about 20 minutes before serving.


Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 medium zucchini
    • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped fresh portobello mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 24-26 ounce jar chunky-style pasta sauce
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 15 ounce container fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat broiler. Trim ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Lightly coat both sides of zucchini slices with cooking spray place half of the slices in a single layer on a wire rack set on a large baking sheet. Broil about 6 inches from the heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once halfway through broiling. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

In a large skillet cook ground beef, mushrooms, and garlic until meat is browned, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain. Remove from heat. Stir pasta sauce, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and fennel seeds into mixture in skillet. In a small bowl combine egg and ricotta cheese.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Top with enough of the zucchini slices to cover the sauce mixture. Dollop half of the ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini use a spoon to lightly spread ricotta mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese on top. Top with half of the remaining sauce mixture. Repeat layers once more, ending with sauce mixture.

Bake in the 375°F oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until cheese has melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


This Zucchini Lasagna is a comforting, hot, meaty, cheesy, saucy, low-carb, gluten free, keto take on your favorite Italian comfort food! It’s layered with thinly sliced zucchini, the BEST homemade Bolognese, creamy ricotta (with a secret no-grainy ricotta trick), nutty Parmesan and gooey mozzarella cheese. This veggie-loaded zucchini lasagna recipe is every bit as scrumptious as traditional lasagna and the most scrumptious way to use zucchini from your garden. Best of all, this zucchini lasagna is not watery! I’m sharing my fool-proof techniques to prevent watery zucchini lasagna, so you end up with perfect al dente zucchini noodles and rich sauce every time. This zucchini lasagna is guaranteed to be your new favorite make ahead, freezer-friendly, gluten-free comfort food!

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